This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Mother By Gwendolyn Brooks Essay

637 words - 3 pages

The Mother by Gwendolyn Brooks

"The Mother," by Gwendolyn Brooks, is a sorrowful, distressing poem about a mother who has experienced numerous abortions. While reading the poem, you can feel the pain, heartache, distress and grief she is feeling. She is both remorseful and regretful; nevertheless, she explains that she had no other alternative. It is a sentimental and heart wrenching poem where she talks about not being able to experience or do things with the children that she aborted -- things that people who have children often take for granted. Perhaps this poem is a reflection of what many women in society are feeling.

The first stanza begins with a strong statement: "Abortions will not let you forget." It shows the sorrow and distress she is going through, grieving about future experiences (wondering, what might have been?) She says things like:

"You will never wind up the ...view middle of the document...

She then changes from speaking to the reader to focusing and explaining to her children why she did what she did. In her explanation she says:

"If I stole your births and your names,
Your straight baby tears and your games,
Your stilted or lovely loves, your tumults, your marriages,
    aches, and your deaths,
If I poisoned the beginnings of your breaths,"

She is truly overcome with grief and overflowing with uncontrollable emotion. She is asking for sympathy and understanding when she says, "Believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate." In addition, she passes the blame when she says, "Though why should I whine, / Whine that the crime was other than mine?" This suggests that she was pressured from another source -- a boyfriend, family member, or society.

She believes that she did what she had to do, in her circumstance. For whatever motive, whatever reason, she had an abortion. She presumably didn't think it was a crime, because an abortion is a legal act; however, the consciousness of her emotions has made her believe that it is criminal, and she feels guilt-ridden. She tries to pass off her guilt when she says, "Since anyhow you are dead," but quickly rebukes herself, metamorphosing the meaning by saying, "Or rather, or instead, / You were never made."

In the third stanza, she continues speaking to the reader where she left off in the second stanza. She is confused, trying to figure out what she did. She doesn't know how to identify what she had done, or perhaps she's afraid to identify it. She says, perplexed and bewildered, "You were born, you had body, you died." She tries to make excuses, denying what she did, but is overcome by her emotions. "Believe me, I loved you all. / Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you / All." She knew her children because they were growing inside her; they were a part of her body and her soul. She says the words, "Believe me...Believe me," twice to emphasize to them (and herself) that although she had an abortion, she truly and earnestly loved them -- forever.

Works Cited:

Brooks, Gwendolyn. Selected Poems. New York: Perennial, 1999.


Other Essays Like The Mother By Gwendolyn Brooks

To What Extent Do Male and Female Literary Characters Accurately Reflect the Role of Men and Women in Society?

866 words - 4 pages To what extent do male and female literary characters accurately reflect the role of men and women in society? A lasting piece of literature is a work that accurately reflects the role of the people during certain time period eloquently. This is best perpetuated in the short novel Kitchen written by Banana Yoshimoto and the play The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde. While the main characters Mikage in the novella and Gwendolyn in

Being Earnest Essay

1098 words - 5 pages indicates the true reflection of the Victorian Society at the time. The theme of sexism, lack of feelings for others, and marriage based on money and rank are exercised throughout the entirety of the play.                   Generally, in the Victorian Era, women were treated drastically different as opposed to modern day.  For instance, when Gwendolyn accepts a marriage proposal without her parent’s permission, her mother is livid and replies with


541 words - 3 pages The Reading of the Obituary Gwendolyn Mallory Officiate Keith Whitlow Director’s Moment Krause Funeral Home The Recessional Obituary Jordan James Whitlow was born on May 29, 1933 in Dermott, Arkansas, the fourth of ten children born to Lucious and Mildred Whitlow. His family nickname is Bubbles, given to him by his mother when he was a baby. Jordan received his elementary education in his hometown of Dermott

Ted Bundy Lost Boys Relation

1412 words - 6 pages Garbarino’s book, putting special emphasis in the social anchors that we feel best match the reasons for Bundy’s actions. Ted Bundy was described by several sources as: A son any mother would be proud to call her own, a handsome six-footer who became the first in his family to graduate from college, then began studying for a career in the law. Women found him charming, his nieces and nephews adored him (McCall, 1980). Ted Bundy offers an

Da Ths Ke Nmks

1013 words - 5 pages cThe Opinion Pages|OP-ED COLUMNIST Capitalism for the Masses FEB. 20, 2014 Continue reading the main story David Brooks Continue reading the main storyShare This Page * EMAIL * FACEBOOK * TWITTER * SAVE * MORE Continue reading the main story When Arthur Brooks was 24, he was playing the French horn in a chamber music concert in Dijon, France. He noticed a beautiful woman smiling at him from the front row, so, after

John Worthing Critique

1228 words - 5 pages while. They were comfortable enough with each other to argue and tell faults, while knowing that they would still remain friends. Jack was also very clear on his relationship with Gwendolyn. She was obviously of romantic interest with him because of the way he saw to her every need. A good example is when she first walks in and Jack says, “you are quite perfect Miss Fairfax.” This is also displayed well when Jack fills Gwendolyn’s teacup. He

Virtue Ethics

1199 words - 5 pages the article “Managing for Organizational Integrity” contained at the end of Chapter 1.) Page(s): 152, Business & Professional Ethics, 6th ed. by Leonard J. Brooks, Cengage Learning NOOK Study (Robert Campbell, This material is protected by copyright. Page(s): 151, Business & Professional Ethics, 6th ed. by Leonard J. Brooks, Cengage Learning NOOK Study (Robert Campbell, This

3 Forms of Business Organizations

816 words - 4 pages businesses that are started our sole proprietorships. They are owned and operated by one person. Partnerships are owned and operated by two or more people and corporations are legal entities that exist independent of owners (Brooks, 2010). Proprietorships have many advantages. One is that it is easy and inexpensive to form and dissolve. For less than $100 you can get yourself a business license and be a new business owner and if you decide the

Year of Wonders: Change

1238 words - 5 pages that the plague “is neither of god nor of the devil, simply a thing in nature”. Anna’s belief of whether the plague is of god or of nature is explained by a clever simile used by Brooks “we could simply work upon it as a farmer might toil to rid his field of unwanted tare, knowing that when he found the tools and the method and the resolve, we would free ourselves” The conclusion of the question of how Annas faith has changed can be found in her own

The Importance of Being Earnest

1480 words - 6 pages position in the play is completely spontaneous. He was "Found!" in "A Hand-bag?" in "The cloak-room at Victoria Station?" by "The late Mr Thomas Cardew". Jack (or should I say Ernest) "must get married at once" to Gwendolen. Unfortunately, Lady Bracknell, the mother of Gwendolen, aunt of Algernon, disagrees with the marriage after Jack fails her test of becoming on her "list of eligible young men" for her daughter to marry

Critique of a Writer's Exchange

560 words - 3 pages understand it, but when reviewing the video, I got the better understanding of a subject. Next, I want to touch on the textbook for the course, A Writer's Repertoire by Gwendolyn Gong and Sam Dragga. The course didn't require me to read it cover to cover, but it covered it did require for me to read many chapters and sample essays. I think the samples of other student's essays helped me prepare my essays. Sometimes its harder to understand

Related Papers

The Depths Of Night Mother By Marsha Norman

1403 words - 6 pages “‘Night Mother”, by Marsha Norman, is a play that dives into the struggles of a mother and daughter. First performed in 1983, the play became a major success both in Broadway, which won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, and was first performed as a play. (Spencer, pg. 1) Jessie is a middle aged woman, who is divorced, moved back in with her mother, and struggles with, what she believes, is a failed life. Thelma, Jessie’s mother, realizes that

Poetry In Education Essay

1009 words - 5 pages understand the emotions and feelings that surround life around us seems to diminish why we strive to learn in the first place. Poetry achieves this level of understanding by allowing us to really experience life through the emotions and experiences of others. In her poem, "The Mother," Gwendolyn Brooks examines the sorrow associated with abortion. The poem is a journey of rationalization for one woman who attempts to come to terms with her own

Poetically Venting Wrath: The Alternative To Submitting To Aggression In African American Art

1598 words - 7 pages , aspiring artists, and generations to come. Two such artists who embody these qualities are Audre Lorde and Gwendolyn Brooks. Both literary texts, “Power” and “A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississippi. Meanwhile a Mississippi Mother Burns Bacon,” were created as non-violent responses to injustice in the stead of one allowing aggression to overcome them. In the heat of wrath there is a decision that needs to be made: creatively vent

A Crime Against Life Essay

577 words - 3 pages themselves can live as they wish. Not only does it murder a child, but it poses health risks to women worldwide. There are other options besides aborting an unwanted child. I would like to end with another quote. “Abortions will not let you forget. You remember the children you got that you did not get.” –Gwendolyn Brooks. Immediately after the abortion, one may feel relieved, but will you feel relieved in seven years? Think twice before ending your child’s life.